As parents, we tend to think of separation anxiety as something that occurs in children, but have you ever thought that it can be an issue for adults as well?
As parents, we are all familiar with the term separation anxiety and know how difficult it can sometimes be to navigate our lives with a child who has strong feelings about us leaving them.
This can become easier as our children grow but separation issues can still be challenging in older children.
Adults can suffer from separation anxiety too.
When we are dealing with our child’s separation it can be helpful to look at how our own feelings come into play. If we are nervous and anxious about a pending separation (school excursion/ camp/sleepover) then it can make it harder for our child to feel safe to say goodbye. Our children pick up on our anxiety and then can become anxious themselves. And so, we dance the anxiety dance.
If you find yourself feeling overly anxious about separating from your child, it’s worth asking yourself where did these feelings come from? Could these feelings be related to early experience in your child’s life, that have left you with anxiety? Are they related to childhood experiences of not having enough close connection with your own parent or caregiver or from a situation that has affected you as a child?
Giving these feelings attention, with the support of a listener or counsellor can help you work on letting them go. Our anxiety can be affected by things that happened many years ago or by an incident that happened just recently.
What can we do if we feel we suffer from separation anxiety?
- Attend a Parenting Course – St Brendan’s offers Circle of Security, 123 Magic and several other world renown course that address all parenting issues. Attending a course can be extremely beneficial in parenting and can assist us to look at what might be affecting the way we parent. Attending a course doesn’t mean we are getting it wrong; it means we are working to strengthen our connection with our children so that healthy relationship can be built and maintained with them throughout their lives.
- Link into external support- A counsellor can help unpack issues that might be making you feel uneasy about leaving your child . They can work with you to address these issues and support your journey towards a healthier relationship with your child.
- Touch base with The Cottage Team at St Brendan’s- Natalie Ross and Rebecca Leahy can offer support and guidance around childhood or parent anxiety.